In the past 24 hours, Hurricane Ike has come ashore in West Louisiana and East Texas. While the news media has focused on the storm's impact in Galveston and Houston and on the oil industry, we are hearing from people on the ground in the hurricane zone that the storm will have a devastating impact on rural areas in those two states as well. If you're a farmer affected by Ike, please visit the help page of the Texas Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association website.
East Texas is largely agricultural, as is much of western Louisiana. There will be significant damage to farms, crops and rural communities throughout these areas. Folks in the area tell us it is still too soon to know the extent of the damage, but they are anticipating significant production losses.
This damage will come on top of the agricultural destruction from Hurricane Gustav just days ago.
Farm Aid is working with Louisiana Interchurch Conference, Southern Mutual Help and Lutheran Social Services of the South to assess damage and channel aid to farmers in the affected areas. We are also reaching out to the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (another Farm Aid funded group), which has established a hot line for producers in need of help.
Farm Aid will provide further updates in the days ahead. If you would like to help in this emergency response, go to the Farm Aid website and contribute to the Family Farm Disaster Fund.